Chelsea started their 2020/21 Champions League campaign with a 0-0 draw Sevilla.
The first half saw both sides create very few chances. Chelsea keeper Edouard Mendy was called into action after Gudelj’s header took a late deflection off of Kurt Zouma.
In stoppage time of the first 45, Mendy was forced into a comfortable save again from Lucas Ocampos. Immediately after, Timo Werner had to chance to put his side ahead going into the break but failed to capitalise.
Frank Lampard’s side started the second half on the front foot but again failed to create any clear cut chances. Ben Chilwell’s effort was comfortably saved by Yassine Bounou.
Sevilla then got back into the with some chances of their own, however, Mendy was rarely troubled at all for the duration of the second half. After picking up a point in their first game, the Blues travel to Krasnodar in the second game of the competition.
Here’s our five things that we learned from Chelsea’s draw:
1. Timo Werner and Kai Havertz failed to make an impact on the game
The German pair failed to impose their talent throughout the game as Chelsea’s chances were limited. Timo Werner was a passenger for large chunks of the game as his fellow teammates couldn’t supply opportunities for the forward. With regards to Havertz, he had stints, but something was missing from his game tonight as he couldn’t produce that moment of magic in the final third.
2. The importance of Edouard Mendy to the team
For Chelsea fans last season, Lampard was constantly chopping and changing the keepers. It’s important for a side competing for silverware to have that set keeper week in week out. It looks as if Chelsea have, potentially, found that man. In three appearances for the Blues, Mendy has kept two clean sheets. Although he wasn’t needed as much, the Senegalese international was consistent and commanding when called upon.
3. How Thiago Silva’s leadership is vital for Chelsea’s backline
Before the game, reports came out that defender Thiago Silva had picked up a slight knock in the warm-up but was ok to start and eventually play 90 minutes. The Brazilian was composed on the ball and was verbal at the heart of the Blues’s defensive line. It’s a player Chelsea have been missing for a while, and if Lampard’s side are going to keep more clean sheets, then Thiago Silva has to start. Silva was defensively sound when called upon.
4. Have the Blues found their strongest defence?
For a top side to be competing for titles, it’s a must that you have the same defence every week so that they can form a great connection going forward. At times in the clash with Sevilla, Kurt Zouma was sloppy on the ball. However, as of right now, the Frenchman starts in Chelsea’s strongest eleven. The likes of Ben Chilwell and Reece James are also instrumental. Lampard may want to look at defending set-pieces as the Blues were caught out a couple of times during the game.
5. Reece James seems to be getting better every game
The young fullback put in a man of the match display against Sevilla in what was a fine performance from the Englishman. At 20, James will certainly be giving Gareth Southgate some selection headaches going into the European Champions. In the game with Sevilla, James looked great going forward and was there to help out at the back when the Blues were under the cosh. As a Chelsea fan, it’s refreshing to see James get better every time he steps onto the pitch. Under the guidance of the experienced players on the pitch, Reece can only continue to grow rapidly.
Next up for Frank Lampard’s side is Manchester United at Old Trafford in the Premier League.